Project1_Layout 1 07/05/2013 SPRA CONFERENCE AND BMBI UPDATE
‘Sustaining Single Ply - Challenges and Champions’
With the Single Ply Roofing Association conference and awards ceremony fast approaching, Cathie Clarke, chief executive officer of the
association, tells RCI readers what they can expect to learn from the conference programme
On June 20, 2018, the Single Ply Roofing
Association (SPRA) will be holding its
fourth annual conference at Eastwood
Hall in Nottinghamshire.
With Danosa as the headline
sponsor, the conference is the biggest event in
SPRA’s calendar, and offers important networking
opportunities between membrane, associate,
contractor, installer and affiliate members and nonmembers
from across the industry.
With a conference theme entitled: ‘Sustaining
Single Ply – Challenges and Champions’, it will
focus on sustainability and Claudine Blamey, head
of sustainability and stewardship at the Crown
Estate, will be the keynote speaker.
Claudine worked with the UK Green Building
Council on the development and launch of its
report ‘Calculating the Value of Sustainability’.
As part of SPRA’s member’s ongoing commitment
to understand and prepare for the challenges that
this will bring in future years, the association
has completed phase II of its own research into
recycling and re-use of single ply membrane.
The report will be presented at the conference
and will be available to download for members
from the member’s area. However, the conference
Small growth for merchants in Q1
Total builders’ merchant value sales to
roofers, builders and contractors were up
0.4% in Q1 compared with Q1 2017, with
one less trading day this year, with average
sales a day up 2.0%.
Growth would have been stronger had it not been
for the “Beast from the East” hammering the external
product categories and Good Friday falling into
March, removing a trading day.
March was down -8.6% compared with March last
year, as a result of two fewer trading days, but January
and February’s sales compensated, at +8.4% and
+4.0% respectively delivering growth for the quarter.
Quarterly growth was driven by Timber, up
+2.3%, alongside multiple internal product categories,
notably Plumbing and Heating (+8.0%), Kitchens
and Bathrooms (+3.6%), Ironmongery (+2.1%), and
Decorating (+1.2%) – all suggesting that work stayed
inside due to the poor weather.
External categories fared less well with
Landscaping – where garden walling and paving were
particularly badly affected - down -4.9%, and the
major category of Heavy Building down 0.8% with
Cement and Blocks feeling the freeze.
John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf
Insulation and BMBI’s expert for mineral wool
insulation, said: “Despite adverse weather conditions
in February and March, it’s not all gloomy news for
the construction industry. There has been a strong
demand from housing across both the newbuild and
repair, maintenance and improvement markets. This
034 JUNE 2018 RCIMAG.COM
has resulted in a fairly strong first quarter for Knauf, in
many regions of the UK, not only in the South East.
“It is encouraging that the home energy
performance is coming increasingly into focus –
reflected in government policies and the financial
sector. In April, Barclays bank announced a green
mortgage. Discounted rates are available for buyers
of newbuild homes that achieve an A or B Energy
Performance Certificate rating. We also keenly await
the outcome of the government consultation on the
Energy Company Obligations currently taking place.
This could enhance the support available for low
income and vulnerable households to improve their
homes’ energy efficiency.”
John continued: “The shift towards higher thermal
performance products continues, even compared with
12-18 months ago. For example, our 0.032 Lambda
DriTherm cavity wall product range is seeing a
significant uplift in demand as customers look to give
their buildings a more thermally-efficient envelope.
“Of course, fire safety performance of buildings
remains a focus and a top priority for the industry.
Non-combustible products are becoming more
standard – they increase effectiveness, reliability and
resilience in case of a fire. This is driving a strong
demand for rock and glass mineral wool products.
“Looking ahead, the newest Construction
Products Association forecasts show flat growth for
the rest of 2018. Despite this, again, there are positive
areas – particularly large infrastructure projects and
Cathie Clarke, chief executive officer of SPRA
Left: John Sinfield,
managing director of Knauf
Below: BMBI March 2018
monthly sales chart
unadjusted and adjusted
for trading days
The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI)
The BMBI is a brand of the BMF. The BMBI
report, which is produced and managed by MRA
Marketing, uses GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of
Sale Tracking Data, which analyses sales out data
from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’
sales across Great Britain. The full report can be
found at www.bmbi.co.uk.
will be taking a broader, more holistic look at
sustainability, and will examine the quality in
specification, environmental policies, health, safety
and wellbeing, training and skills development,
industry accreditation, installation and delivering
The SPRA team will round off the conference
with an update on everything that the association
has been doing on behalf of its members over the
past 12 months.
Social media workshop
Inspired by Grenfell, GDPR and Facebook, Su
Butcher of JustPractising will deliver a social
media workshop prior to the main conference.
Su will introduce a 12-word social media policy,
and will take delegates through the obvious and
perhaps not-so-obvious ways to use and protect
yourself and your business on social media. If you
would like to register for this part of the day, please
We will also be launching the 2018 revision
to our SPRA Design Guide. This document
is constantly being reviewed by the technical
committee with revisions every two years to ensure
that it is a document that is fit-for-purpose, relevant
and a valuable asset to the single ply community
and wider construction sector.
All of SPRA’s documents are available from
www.spra.co.uk. As a way of spreading this
information to specifiers, main contractors and
others, we will be giving away credit card-sized
flash drives containing all support documents so
that delegates can help to spread this guidance
across the industry to raise awareness. We will also
have a number to give away on a first come, first
served basis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put
SPRA GUIDANCE 2018 in the subject line.
Finally, we will be celebrating technical
excellence with the presentation of the SPRA
awards over dinner supported by Coney Group’s
senior presenter, Amanda Chadwick.